The Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC) at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP) recently moved into a newly built location above the Concourse A food court in Terminal 1. The facility opened on Friday, November 8.
Demolition of the current location - on the mezzanine level overlooking Terminal 1’s ticketing lobby – will make way for renovation work to be completed in that area.
The AFSC at MSP Airport serves active military and their dependents who are traveling, as well as retired military members and their dependents on a space-available basis.
“We’ve been open since 1970, and we never close our doors,” said Debra Cain, executive director of the AFSC.
Cain and her staff of volunteers are planning for a seamless move with minimal disruption to service members who may be utilizing the center prior to the move.
A host of improvements
The new location, at 4,900 square feet, is two-and-a-half times larger than the current location and will feature additional amenities for the growing number of service members who pass through the center’s doors. At peak times of the year, the AFSC can serve upwards of 2,000 visitors per month.
Business center with plenty of outlets for charging devices
Flight Information displays (a big plus for the AFSC’s visitors)
A larger, updated kitchen
Meet and greet rooms for arriving service members
Room to store carry-on bags
A lounge area with four sofas, six recliners, and two large TVs
A dining room with seating for 10 (6 more than today)
10 bunks for females (4 more than today) and 30 bunks for males (10 more than today)
Space for nursing moms to express milk (lactation room)
The center’s volunteer staff – totaling approximately 200 people - ages 45 to 93 - will also have their own space to store belongings.
And the post-security location is an added convenience for service members who are making connections.
“The additional space we get on Concourse A is a huge benefit to our entire operation,” Cain said. “We launch our 50th anniversary in January, and we couldn’t be prouder of our new home.”